No Sleep Till Football

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2011 Week 7 – Power 15

Two weeks in a row I have the Power-15 out on a Monday! I get it done baby!!

#1 Where did Jalston Fowler come from? This past week against Mississippi Fowler rushed for 125 yards on only 9 carries which included 2TD. It was bad enough that Trent Richardson & Eddie Lacy were shredding opposing defenses, but now Fowler is going crazy! Alabama hammered Ole Miss 52-7 last week. Alabama has now given up just 49 points in 7 games. Alabama might not have a better resume than LSU, but to me the Tide are the #1 team in the land.
#2 I know Tennessee is down especially with their QB & best WR out with injury but to go in to Knoxville and put the hammer down on the Vols by a 38-7 margin is crazy. I still think the issue here with LSU is QB Jarrett Lee. Even with Jordan Jefferson returning to the team, Lee has actually gotten better. In the last two games Lee is 17 of 24 for 269 yards & 3TD with nary an interception. LSU is following a similar script as Alabama is. The running isn’t quite as good as Bama’s but Spencer Ware, Michael Ford & Alfred Blue are rushing for almost 200yards per game. It’s going to be insane when the Tigers & Tide hook up!
#3 Wisconsin can’t be happy with the initial BCS rankings which essentially have them on the outside looking in no matter what happens. Wisconsin definitely has issues with their schedule. The win over Nebraska is OK I suppose but it was in Madison. Wisconsin is going to get a real chance to show what they are made of in the next couple of weeks by going on the road to East Lansing & Columbus. If the Badgers blow Michigan St. & Ohio St. out then I think that will be enough to grab some attention. Something to think about for Badger fans is rooting for Penn St. The Nittany Lions are 6-1. If they can keep winning then Wisconsin looks better.
#4 Beating Kansas only 47-17? The Sooners didn’t even cover the spread against the worst defensive team in college football! Oklahoma St. put 70 points on Kansas the week before so even a 30-point win for Oklahoma seems like a disappointment. I think one of the most unappreciated stories of the year is the fate of QB Landry Jones. Jones is on pace to pass for 4,354 while completing 68% of his passes including 32TD. He’s a 6’4″/230lbs QB leading Oklahoma to a possible national championship and yet nobody is talking about him while that other guy is tearing it up at Stanford. Remember the last time an Oklahoma QB was doing this, his name was Sam Bradford & he was a #1 overall pick. Interesting times.
#5 What’s really interesting about Oklahoma St. is that Texas is FREAKIN Texas and the Cowboys went into Austin and didn’t play all that well yet still were able to beat the Longhorns 38-26! It’s really interesting what’s happening in Stillwater. Oklahoma St. went into College Station and didn’t play that well especially in the first half & won 30-29. They went into Austin and didn’t play well yet beat Texas 38-26. Oklahoma St. can control their own destiny at this point. A perfect 12-0 season would be topped off with a win over Oklahoma which of course would vault OSU up the BCS rankings. They need to learn to turn it on every week.
#6 Another week another win for Stanford. This past week the Cardinal went up to Pullman and hammered Washington St. 44-14. Stanford is facing the same problems Wisconsin faces with regards to scheduling. The Pac 12 is looking downright awful outside of Stanford & Oregon. There is even talk how an undefeated Stanford team might not be enough to jump a 1-loss SEC team! Just incredible. Forget Andrew Luck for a second. The Stanford defense is downright filthy. The Cardinal ranks 5th in total defense, 2nd in rushing defense, & 14th in total defense. Andrew Luck has been the huge story especially with so many NFL teams sucking so badly, but the defense has been amazing.
#7 Oregon picked up a solid 41-27 win over Arizona St. this past weekend which could have been a preview of the first ever Pac-12 championship. Kenjon Barner did an incredible LaMichael James impression rushing for 171 yards on 31 carries with a TD. De’Anthony Thomas did his best Kenjon Barner did his best Kenjon Barner impression rushing for 73 yards & 2TD on 7 carries. It’s simply next man up for Oregon. Like Stanford, the Ducks are facing an uphill battle because of schedule although it does seem like the Ducks are on their way to 12-1. They’ll wind up in the Rose Bowl, but they need serious help to get back to the national championship game. The 41-27 win is nice, but Oregon needs to blow teams out.
#8 I’m not going to bang Clemson for beating Maryland 56-45. Maryland got up early 28-10 on the Tigers which had to have had Clemson Nation tied in knots! From that point forward, Clemson beat Maryland 46-17. That’s called having your backs against the wall & come out swinging. You almost get the feeling that this was the type of game Oklahoma St. had against Texas A&M or the game Arkansas had against that same Texas A&M team. I think Maryland was a trap game. Clemson has some tough games coming up & the road game against Maryland was tricky because the Terps are better than their record would indicate. Believe in Randy Edsall. Solid win for Clemson. The type of game they had to win in order to have a special season.
#9 Arkansas might be the most interesting team in football at this point. They opened up the BCS rankings ranked 9th & you have to wonder if Bobby Petrino isn’t thinking national championship. Here is why things are crazy. If LSU beats Alabama then maybe it’s enough to drop Bama behind Arkansas even if Alabama beat Arkansas earlier. If Arkansas beats LSU at the end of the season then maybe it’s enough to push Arkansas above LSU. In the case of a 3-way tie in the SEC West, then the team with the highest BCS ranking wins the West and gets to the SEC championship game. If that happens then Arkansas could wind up 12-1 and in the national championship.
#10 What can you keep saying about Boise St. They went to Colorado St. and hammered the Rams 63-13! Think about what Kellen Moore is doing this year. He’s on pace to finish the season with 3,458 yards with 42TD & 8INT while completing 76% of his passes. Moore is going to be an interesting NFL draft pick as he’s listed at 6’0/191lbs meaning he’s not a six-foot QB. Then again, I think guys like Drew Brees have at least given six-foot QBs a chance to be NFL QBs that aren’t at least 6’3. One thing to think about too is what Andy Dalton is doing in Cincinnati. With the Bengals at 4-2, things are looking up and there is no question that Moore is a winner, just like Dalton. Moore is going to be an interesting case.
#11 The Irish are getting screwed in the polls for sure. If anything Notre Dame for the first time in history seem to be underrated. The early season losses to South Florida & Michigan hurt something awful now. South Florida is a joke now that they are in the toilet and I think Michigan St. gave opposing teams a blueprint on how to contain Denard Robinson. Still, the Irish should get quite a bit of respect this upcoming weekend if they can beat USC up on South Bend. Here is a question for Irish fans. ND should probably get to 9-2 before playing at Stanford. If ND beats Stanford, then a 10-2 ND team is going to a BCS bowl. Maybe a 9-3 doesn’t. If you are an Irish fan, would you rather go to a lesser bowl knowing you can win & end the year 10-3 and on the up OR would you rather go to a BCS bowl and play a game you will probably be a dog in with the risk of going 10-3 ending the year on a loss or go all out going 11-2 with HUGE MOMENTUM into 2012!
#12 Keep an eye on West Virginia. Remember that when LSU came to Morgantown the Mountaineers were looking pretty strong until LSU had that kickoff return TD to put LSU up for a couple of TDs for good. West Virginia is looking pretty good at 5-1 and I think they could be a real surprise team. Dana Holgorsen is working his magic already in Morgantown. QB Geno Smith is on pace to throw for 4,318 yards with 32TD & 6INT while completing 64% of his passes! Right now Smith isn’t getting much Heisman hype and he might not get any, but if West Virginia throws up an 11-1 record and a Big East championship, should Smith at least be in the conversation? He’s just a junior so finishing strong could set him up well for 2012…….unless Luck returns too!
#13 Give HC Mark Dantonio & DC Pat Narduzzi who came up with a game plan to force Denard Robinson inside where he couldn’t run like he wanted. It was amazing to see how the Spartans put Robinson in a box where he couldn’t get out. The defense for Michigan St. is for real and if defense wins championships then you have to wonder how much Michigan St. has in the tank. The loss to Notre Dame is going to look better & better as the season progresses especially if the Irish can roll up to 9-2. This upcoming week is going to be real instructive for Michigan St. They get Wisconsin at home which should be a preview of the Big 10 Championship. If they box the Wisconsin running game in the way they did Michigan, the Spartans have a shot at really mixing up the BCS.
#14 Just a horribly sloppy win over Florida 17-6, but a win is a win. It’s really weird how Auburn’s season has gone Let’s face it, War Eagle is 5-2 with wins over Mississippi St., Florida & South Carolina. Those are solid wins. The two losses have come to Arkansas & Clemson, two top-10 teams! What’s pretty interesting is that the Tigers are 3-0 in close games. They have outscored their opponents by a total of 3 points over 7 games meaning they should be be 3-4/4-3. In essence the Tigers might be playing 2 games over their actual ability. Some of that is luck, but they were fairly lucky last season too. Is this more indicative of Gene Chizik being an elite college football coach? Close games & TO margin supposedly regress to the mean, but not in Auburn’s case? Something’s up!
#15 Things simply can’t go right for Steve Spurrier down in Columbia. This was easily the best season for SC to potentially run the table & get an opportunity to pull a stunner in the SEC Championship to play for a championship. Instead, Stephen Garcia plays like garbage which eventually leads to his dismissal while last week in a 14-12 win over Mississippi St., the Gamecocks lost all-world RB Marcus Lattimore for the rest of the season with an injury! Despite all the craziness, South Carolina is 6-1 and can control their own destiny! QB Connor Shaw has been pretty good in Garcia’s absence. Shaw is 46 for 67 for 466 yards with 5TD & 2INT while completing 68.7% of his passes. Over 12 games that’s 3,000 yards & 30TD passes! Just a sophomore, Shaw could be a sweet answer to the SC quarterback question.


#11 Michigan Wolverines: What a letdown against Michigan St. The real question for Michigan is how they bounce back from the loss to Michigan St. The last couple of years have seen Michigan get out to undefeated seasons only to take on Sparty, get whipped and then tank the season. I don’t think that will happen under Brady Hoke’s watch. I think they can come back and beat Purdue & Iowa to at least get to 8-1 before Illinois, Nebraska & Ohio St. to finish the season. What Michigan can’t do is drop 4 of their next 5 and finish the season 7-5. I still think this season hinges on beating Ohio St. That’s a huge win if Michigan can get it.

#14 Florida Gators: It was a sloppy loss to Auburn, but Florida is sort of lost at see without a QB. At 4-3, the season is in peril. Georgia, South Carolina & Florida St. now look like games they could easily lose which puts Florida at 6-6 on the season. It’s a bowl season, but how disappointing is the first year of the Will Muschamp era? This is going to come dangerously close to a lost season for the Gators.

#15 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: What the heck? Losing to Virginia? I don’t really have much to say about Georgia Tech. They simply didn’t come prepared to play because if they did they wouldn’t have lost to Virginia. Oddly enough the Yellow Jackets still control their own destiny because they are easily capable of winning the rest of their games to finish 11-1 with a shot at the ACC title. I still feel like this team has some talent so it’ll be interesting to see how GT responds to adversity.


October 17, 2011 - Posted by | Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Boise St., Clemson, LSU, Michigan St., Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Power 15, South Carolina, Stanford, West Virginia, Wisconsin

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